The Hanging – Old West poem

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The Hanging – Old West poem

The Hanging – Old West poem
The Hanging is an Old West or cowboy poem, and is not for everyone. It is a disturbing poem that tells, in brutal detail, of a public hanging – for justice in the American west was swift and final. The poem is not criticism, or approval of the practice. It’s simply a pure description of what was a common form of Justice – not all that long ago.

The Hanging – a poem of the Old West
copyright 2011 by jon gutmacher

Standing in the naked sun
all their lives to be undone
all for deeds to harsh to fathom
shaking there from head to bottom
in the naked sun

On the scaffold
six nooses hanging
breeze not blowing
clouds not moving
creaking pine planks
six are held up
standing in the naked sun

Crowd is sweating
preacher chanting
last words short
the end is coming
and the hoods slip on and over
as the rope surrounds each neck

All is hushed
all is silent
all is over
but the waiting
and then the thud
as trap door opens
broken lives
all swinging free

They called it justice
the end to evil
a breeze sneaks by
that dusts the people
and creaks the ropes
of long dashed hopes
as hell awaits
those now dead folks

In the naked sun
In the naked sun

The background image is a noose hanging down in the open sky — I believe it’s from Hang em High — the old Clint Eastwood movie.

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